In February, 2011 the American Cancer Society (ACS) announced a comprehensive initiative to improve access to its materials by people with visual impairments. Using the alternative dispute resolution method known as Structured Negotiations, ACS worked with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) to improve the accessibility of its website and to develop a pilot program for providing accessible information. As described in this post, print information is now available in Braille, Large Print, mp3, audio CD and accessible electronic formats.
Access to information is a civil right and is key to full inclusion of people with disabilities into modern society. Please share this post and help spread the word about the availability of cancer-related information in formats that people who are blind and visually impaired can read.
In this post you can read about
- How to order alternative formats from ACS on the telephone
- What Information is available in Braille and Large Print
- What standards are ACS using for Braille and Large Print?
- What information is available in audio and electronic formats
- What is ACS doing to improve the accessibility of its website?
- Additional resources about the American Cancer Society accessibility initiative
You can also read a short Simplified Summary of this Post, a feature of LFLegal designed to satisfy AAA Success Criteria 3.1.5 of WCAG 2.0.
Phone Number for Ordering Braille, Large Print, Audio and Electronic Formats
Please call 1-800-227-2345 to order American Cancer Society information in formats other than standard print. Staff have been trained to provide assistance to people who are blind and visually impaired. This post contains information about what materials are available in which formats.
You can also order materials on line using the American Cancer Society Contact Form and selecting “ACS Materials” in the subject line. Visit the American Cancer Society contact form now.
Documents Available in Braille and Large Print
As part of the pilot program, the following American Cancer Society Documents are available in Braille and Large Print:
- Breast Cancer ( Publication D104.00)
- A Message of Hope: Coping with Cancer (Publication D104.00)
- Guide to Quitting Smoking (Publication D6696.00)
- Talking with Your Doctor (Publication D6714.00)
- Helping a Smoker Quit: Do’s and Don’ts (Publication D6946.00)
- Prostate Cancer (Publication D117.00)
- Colorectal Cancer (Publication D107.00)
- Lung Cancer (Non-small cell) (Publication D6976.00)
Information in Braille and Large Print will be provided within ten business days of ACS receiving a request from a person who is blind or visually impaired.
Large Print and Braille Standards
Braille materials provided by the American Cancer Society, whenever possible, will meet the Braille Authority of North America’s standards (”BANA Standards”) for printing and binding Braille materials. Visit the BANA website now.
Large Print Standards
Included in the settlement agreement between ACS and ACB is a provision entitled “Large Print Standards.” This is the first time that an agreement has defined “Large Print” with such specificity.
The Large Print Standards in the ACS agreement are as follows:
- a font size of at least 18 points
- a sans serif font, such as Arial or Verdana, in bold
- limited, if any, use of ALL CAPITALS
- no use of italics
- print on suitable non-glossy paper
- block paragraphs
- page numbers in the top outer corner of each page in the same font as other text on the page
- emphasis provided by setting text apart with stars or lines, and not using colored text
- appropriate use of white space
Information Available in Audio and Electronic Formats
All American Cancer Society publications and brochures longer than 3 pages are now available in Audio CD, Audio MP3 and Accessible PDF format sent as an email attachment or mailed on a disc. Brochures with fewer than 3 pages are available in Accessible PDF format sent as an email attachment or mailed on a disc.
Accessible PDF is defined as “any PDF document that satisfies WCAG 2.0 Conformance Level AA Success Criteria.” Persons using assistive technology should be able to navigate all American Cancer Society PDF documents and read all the content, including charts and tables.
ACS has also agreed to detailed standards governing audio formats. Those standards are as follows:
- the document being read should be identified by name at the beginning of the audio file
- a table of contents should be provided at the beginning of the audio file
- when the document is divided into chapters, each chapter should be in a separate track so the user can go directly to the desired information
- whether live or digital, audio information must be clearly enunciated
- the end of the publication should be identified
- Audio CDs should be delivered in a CD Case with the name of the document provided in both Braille and Large Print formats
- all audio CDs must be able to be played both in a computer and in a CD player
As with Braille and Large print information, audio and electronic formats will be provided within ten business days of the request.
Web Accessibility at American Cancer Society
in addition to making print information available in Braille, Large Print, audio and electronic formats, ACS has also undertaken to improve the accessibility of its website. ACS is using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Level AA as the standard its standard for web accessibility. More information is available on the Accessibility Information page on the American Cancer Society website.
The American Council of the Blind and its attorneys Linda Dardarian and Lainey Feingold continue to work with the American Cancer Society as it implements its accessible information initiative. Please use the Contact Page on this website if you have any feedback on the ACS effort.